Magnus is an expert when it comes to home planting. He has mini greenhouses all over his flat and I came at the perfect time- planting season- which means that I can pick up some tips from him. I purchased organic local seeds from both Denmark and Sweden (carrots, peppers, tomatoes, dill, parsley, arugula, spinach) and we will be planting next week in our Athens flat. We will start indoors and transfer our seedlings outdoors when it becomes warm enough. Thankfully, I have a lot of farmer blood flowing in my veins. Plus, we have Magnus :)
Here are Magnus's TOP 5 tips on home planting, in no particular order:
1. Planting depth- Make sure that seeds are not planted too deep in the soil, otherwise they might never have the chance to sprout.
2. Soil quality and type- Make sure that the first soil isn't too fertilized because it will inhibit instead of assist in seed growth. Avoid soil with too much added turf. Sand is often found in planting soil, which is good for the seeds. Put an inch of normal planting soil at the bottom of the pot so when the roots are matured they are able to feed off this before replanting to a bigger pot (or outdoors). This bigger pot/outdoors will only have normal soil.
3. Water- If your plants are in a dry environment, make sure to cover the pots with a plastic bag with small holes. This will allow the soil to maintain moisture and heat, acting as a mini greenhouse. A mini-greenhouse is the best option if it is possible to buy or build one. If you live in a humid area this will not pertain to you. Just be sure that soil stays moist but not wet.
4. Lighting-Make sure to add extra lighting if the pots do not receive roughly 14 hours of steady light. Any florescent lamp or bulb will do. It has been shown that if you have poor lighting, such as winter months in Sweden, it is better to solely have artificial light on the plants.
5. Transferring outdoors- When transferring plants from indoors to outdoors, make sure that the temperature difference isn't too great. Bring the plants outdoors for a few hours each day for about a week to get the plants acclimated to their new environment.
Planting and harvesting seeds from home can save money off your grocery bill and nothing tastes as good as homegrown produce- it IS worth the effort. We hope you give it a try this season. But hurry, as planting season has already started!!